Is it CLW if you're pregnant? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I know this is kind of silly but the mix of terminology is bothering me. DS is 3.5 and is heading toward weaning. He's been down to once or twice a day for about a year I guess. He always nurses at bedtime but that's the only constant. I've realized that I don't offer anymore except bedtime if he doesn't ask of if he looks really sleepy. My supply has been basically drops for a long while now. I'm only 9 weeks btw. Anyway, I've always thought that if you were pregnant, that caused weaning and therefore wasn't really child led. Do you think that applies to a 3.5 year old? I just feel kind of guilty. I committed to CLW. Nothing has changed so I know that's unreasonable.. I'd like to encourage him to continue and have told him that the milk will come back when the baby comes but he's just not that interested anymore.

What do you think?
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#2 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 07:33 PM
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yes, i do think if a child weans of his own volition during pregnancy, it is still clw. a child who still has a strong need to nurse for comfort will continue, milk or no milk. (not saying they won't care that the milk is gone, some don't and some do.) for a nursling who is outgrowing the need, pregnancy may bring weaning on a little earlier than it would otherwise happen, but that doesn't mean it's not clw. that just means pregnancy is an "outside factor" that influences when the child chooses to wean.

eta: i have nursed through a pregnancy and am now tandem nursing (almost one year, yay!). when i decided to ttc again so early, i had to consider the possibility that my older child would wean as a result of my pregnancy. that thought made me sad, as i really wanted to make it to at least two years, but after talking with other mamas who had various experiences with clw and pregnancy, i felt pretty safe that he would still wean when he was ready, or continue nursing if not.
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#3 of 12 Old 03-03-2008, 08:21 PM
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I have mixed feelings on this. I nursed through my second pregnancy and I'm tandeming two through this pregnancy. They are nursing WAY less than before and I know it is mostly due to lower milk supply. I think they'd be nursing more if I had more milk.

So no real words of advice or anything...just letting you know there are others out here with the same sorts of feelings going on!
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#4 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 05:28 PM
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I think it is still CLW. I was very recently in the exact same position you are, my 3.5 yr old was still nursing some mornings but that was it, and then I got pregnant again. After a couple of weeks he announced "no more milk!" and stopped even asking for it.

I would have been surprised if there was much there to begin with since he wasn't nursing every day anymore, but if he was really attached to it, I would have gone along with it as he needed. It was very painless this way.

He's brought it up a couple of times since (mostly like, "wow, your milkies are HUGE!" -- and yes they are, more than when I was PG with him!) -- and it's crossed my mind that if he were interested again after the baby comes I'd let him try. But he's started telling me "babies need milkies, milkies are for babies" so I think he considers himself too 'sophisticated' at this point.

mama to Joey (1/04) and Teddy (4/08) :
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#5 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 05:48 PM
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Yes, I think it is. If he was far younger, that would be different (i.e. if you got pg at 6 months and ended up having to suppliment because the milk was gone, that sort of thing) but it sounds to me like he was heading in that direction anyway. That said, I would likely feel a bit mixed about it if I were in your shoes (and I soooo hope to be in your shoes soon ) because ds still loves nursing soooo much and is still getting a moderate amount of milk, I think.

WTG, mama. You have done a wonderful job with your nursling and before too long you'll have the chance to do it all over again - how exciting .

mama to big brother Mason (Jan '05) and the littles, Adam and Holden (May '10)
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#6 of 12 Old 03-04-2008, 10:24 PM
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I think it is. My son was 19 months when I found out I was pregnant. While it was really uncomfortable to nurse at that time, he seemed to lose interest. I stopped offering and he stopped asking all in about a week. No tears were shed (well, I cried!), but he seemed perfectly happy without it.
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#7 of 12 Old 03-06-2008, 01:30 PM
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My 19 month old stopped nursing a month ago. He had been losing interest even before my milk supply started to tank, and I honestly wonder if we would have made it much farther even if I hadn't gotten pregnant. He is so active and into everything, and no matter how much I offered he would fuss and jump out of my lap. We did make it halfway through the pregnancy, and he nursed for a long time with no milk. He IS doing something strange, however. Every once and a while if he catches mama without her shirt on, he'll start playing with my breasts and put his mouth on them. Its almost like he's checking to see if the milky came back yet. So I don't stop him from doing that. Who knows, maybe when there is milk he'll pick it up again. But if he doesn't, I would consider him to be CLW'd. I never refused him and offered many many times even though he didn't want to nurse anymore (went through at least three weeks of offering constantly and being refused by him), so it isn't like I didn't consider the possibility of a nursing strike either. Henri was just done with it.

that being said, I do believe that 2 years of breastmilk is optimal, and I will pump milk for Henri when the baby is born, just like I did for his older brother when Henri was born. I have tremendous supply, especially in the early months, and I can easily meet a 2yo's daily "milk needs" 100% and still nurse a newborn.
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#8 of 12 Old 03-06-2008, 01:34 PM
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At 3.5yrs I feel like it's still CLW (especially if you're open to nursing again when the milk is back)

Under 2yrs, maybe not so much.

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#9 of 12 Old 03-06-2008, 01:40 PM
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Depends. If the child weans due to pregnancy at ANY age it's not CLW. But I got preg. when DD was 15 mos. and it is VERY MUCH clw, as she has not stopped or decreased nursings. It depends on the individual situation.

~Marie: Mom to DS(17), DS(16), DD(14), DD(10), DD(8) & someone new on the way.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-06-2008, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I think I agree with Alegna. He's still asking nightly- Like he just wants to know he can if he wants. He pops off and says no milk sometimes and sometimes nurses quietly for a few minutes. I was feeling like I didn't want him to wean a few months ago but now I feel like he's ready so I'm ready too. Than, he may not be ready a month from now and I'm fine with however it all works out.
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#11 of 12 Old 03-06-2008, 03:50 PM
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maybe it's


sibling led weaning

I hink as long as it's because the older kid decides not to nurse, then it is CLW. whether they decide because it tastes different or because they've grown out of it, I don't think matters. some toddlers will start up again after baby is born.
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#12 of 12 Old 03-06-2008, 04:30 PM
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Pregnancy isn't overwhelmingly likely to cause children to wean if they weren't going to otherwise. Some do, but not the majority (the study that showed 60+% weaning during pregnancy included mother-led weaning).

Anyway, it sounds like you've run the race. He isn't interested, so that's that. You've done a wonderful thing for him over the past years, regardless of what acronyms you do or don't attach to it .
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